CD REVIEW: Troy Lukkarila - Unsafe Stuctures
By JJ Biener - 12/30/2005 - 06:09 PM EST
Artist: Troy Lukkarila
Album: Unsafe Stuctures
Are you the kind of person who thinks watching a South Park marathon on Comedy Central is a romantic evening? Do you have Bevis and Butthead on DVD? Do you think Dr. Demento is a misunderstood genius? Do you believe Howard Stern is the messiah? Were you ever asked to leave a screening of The Sorrow and the Pity because your laughter was disturbing the other patrons? If you answered yes to any or all of the above, I think I have a CD for you, Troy Lukkarila’s Unsafe Structures.
Unsafe Structures is rude, crude, gross, sick, twisted, childish, sophomoric and beyond politically incorrect to the point of being politically hostile. Don’t get me wrong, those are its best features. Normally, I am not attracted to such black humor, but something in Troy’s music (and I use the term advisedly) captured my attention. It’s… well, um, it’s funny. His wit may be less like a rapier and more like a rusty pocket knife, but it is still funny.
As with many who delve into the outrageous, Troy does not shy away from controversial or difficult subjects. Spousal abuse, murder, dismemberment, loss, revenge, regret, pain, and redemption are all grist for his mill, and that is just in the first song called When You Get Home. I should mention that there is the faintest echo of Tom Lehrer’s I Hold Your Hand in Mine in this song, but there is enough of Troy’s unique style to make even Professor Lehrer cringe.
Continuing in a controversial vein, the next song, Flash, is a paean to the simple joys of exposing oneself to strangers. Norris Lake is a fond remembrance of robbing a poor, old blind woman who ran a small store out of her home. The Family chronicles the disintegration of a family so dysfunctional as to make the rest of us seem normal by comparison. Don’t Give Up is wonderful song of encouragement to a person whose inferiority complex is well founded.
No review would be complete without discussing the quintessential Lukkarila song, Boobies. The song is a study in contrasts between the horrors of the world and the marketing use of, well, boobies. If you dig deep enough, there actually is a socially relevant point to this song, namely that Madison Ave blinds us to reality through use of sexuality and sexual imagery. While this is probably true, 20 minutes of CNN is enough to cause most people to crave some mind-numbing entertainment. It is merely supply and demand at work.
Is Troy Lukkarila’s Unsafe Structures for everyone? Probably not. But I think he has an audience, albeit a small and medicated one. Troy and his friends have put together a set of songs that are genuinely funny and entertaining for those who are open to the experience.. And while I can’t verify it personally, I suspect this CD would work even better under the influence of certain intoxicating substances. For a glimpse into the world of all things Lukkarila, check out Troy’s web site, www.lukalips.com.
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